The Center for Disease Control says that up to 20% of the population comes down with colds and the flu every year. And about 200,000 of those have to be hospitalized. Fortunately, nature has provided us with many foods that can decrease your chances of getting the flu in the first place.
The importance of immunity
Unfortunately, many viruses associated with the flu cannot be treated with antibiotics. The best weapon against the flu virus is the body's own immune system. That's one reason why it's important to maintain a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. Here are some foods known for their ability to build immunity:
- Garlic. Like onions, shallots, chives and leeks, garlic contains a powerful compound known as allicin which has powerful medicinal properties. Adding garlic to your everyday cooking can help build your immune system in a substantial way.
- Spinach. This is a true super food. One cup of spinach gives you 377% of your vitamin A requirements, as well as supplying you with vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. In addition to adding a handful to salads, you can also use it instead of lettuce on sandwiches.
- Red bell pepper. Talk about vitamin C! Red bell pepper more than any fruit. On top of that, it is rich in vitamin A, as well. Eat them on salads, sandwiches, or lightly saute them and add them to fajitas.
- Green tea. Less processed than its black tea cousin, green tea is brimming with antioxidants. Studies show that drinking green tea builds immunity and fights the cold and flu viruses that might be lingering.